St. George’s University Links Up with the University of Northumbria

St. George’s University has again joined forces with the University of Northumbria in England to create a smooth, educationally sound avenue for promising students who want to become doctors.

Under a new agreement, students can now begin their medical studies at the University of Northumbria in a biomedical science certificate course and, after the successful completion of the one-year course, progress into St. George’s University School of Medicine’s four year MD degree program.

The official signing of the agreement was held on December 6, 2005, at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and will take effect for students who wish to commence studies in the certificate course as early as Fall 2006. Representing St. George’s University School of Medicine were Margaret A. Lambert, Dean of Enrolment Planning, and Dr. Keith B. Taylor, Vice Chancellor Emeritus. Those signing on behalf of UNN were Dr David Holmes, Director of Academic Development; Dr Alan Jones, Director of Recruitment and Publicity; Dr Elizabeth Smith, Associate Dean; and Joanne Purves, Director of International Development.

Students who seek entry into the program must apply to UNN for the Biomedical Science Certificate Course and simultaneously to SGU for the MD program. SGU and UNN will work together in the process of accepting qualified students.

Accepted students will spend their first year at the University of Northumbria in the School of Applied Sciences, in the same course modules as Year 1 of the BSc Honours degree in biomedical science. After they successfully complete this year, they commence the two year basic medicine phase on St. George’s University Grenada campus. The final two years of study are the clinical years and they are taken at affiliated hospitals in the UK and/or the US. After five years of study, students will receive their MD degree.

“The agreement between St. George’s University and Northumbria is a logical development,” said Margaret A. Lambert, Dean of Enrolment Planning at SGU. “Both are modern universities yet maintain traditional standards of education and professionalism. The agreement links the scientific aspects of premedical training in the UK with a comprehensive and excellent medical education in a beautiful campus on a Caribbean island. Students who take advantage of the full range of opportunities at SGU are exposed to medicine as it is practiced and taught in the Caribbean, the United States, and the United Kingdom.”

Northumbria University was established as a polytechnic institute in 1969 and inaugurated as a university in 1992. UNN is well-known for its excellence in biomedical sciences and is recognized as a principal innovator in the field. St. George’s University was founded as an independent school of medicine 28 years ago and has evolved into a top center of international education. More than 5,400 graduates have graduated from SGUSOM and are practicing medicine throughout the world.

The two institutions have begun discussions about a similar program being set up with SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Published on 01/09/2006

Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Richard H. Schwarz, MD, SGUSOM’s Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) on October 28th. The award was presented by ACOG District II/NY and recognized Dr. Schwarz’s tireless efforts and achievements in the field of OB/GYN for more than 50 years.

Dr. Schwarz was honored by his colleagues, family, and friends in a ceremony held at the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel during the ACOG District II/NY annual meeting. Many in attendance had worked with and were trained by Dr. Schwarz over the years. “It’s always nice to be honored,” Dr. Schwarz said. “It’s especially nice to be honored by colleagues and people whose careers I have touched on. At this point in my career I get a lot of pleasure and I live vicariously through the successes and accomplishments of those I have trained over the years.”
Dr Richard Schwarz
Dr. Schwarz was lauded by his colleagues, including Dr. Richard Waldman, chair of ACOG/District II/NY, who described him as a “mentor, guide, leader, physician, distinguished teacher, and trailblazer.” Affiliated with ACOG since 1974, Dr. Schwarz has been practicing in the OB/GYN field since he graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1955. He has served ACOG in various positions over the years, including president.

As Chair of OB/GYN at SGU, a position he has held since 2000, Dr. Schwarz is responsible for the OB/GYN education of SGU students at the clinical centers and affiliated hospitals. He meets with both the faculty and the clinical students to ensure that they are fulfilling their obligations in terms of following the curriculum. “I enjoy working with the SGU students,” Dr. Schwarz commented. “I believe they are well prepared for their clinical rotations when they come to their US and UK clerkship sites. I believe they compare very favorably with the US school students that we teach. I also find them very well motivated and generally more mature than most of the US students.”

“Richard has enhanced the delivery of the OB/GYN area of the curriculum,” said Dr. Stephen Weitzman, Dean of the SOM. “He is a great asset as a teacher and medical educator, and he brings a wealth of experience to our clinical program.”

Dr. Schwarz has many prestigious professional positions, among them, Vice Chairman for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Maimonides Medical Center; Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of OB/GYN at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn (formerly Downstate Medical Center); Chairman Emeritus in the Department of OB/GYN at New York Methodist Hospital; and Obstetrical Consultant at the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

Over the years he has taught at Weill College of Medicine of Cornell University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and Tulane University School of Medicine. He has held hospital appointments at Maimonides Medical Center, New York Methodist Hospital, State University Hospital at SUNY-Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Kings County Hospital Center, and Staten Island Hospital, among others. Dr. Schwarz has served in many roles at ACOG and the March of Dimes and did a tour of duty with the United States Air Force. He has been affiliated with numerous professional associations, foundations, and organizations.

Dr. Schwarz has written extensively in the field of OB/GYN and has published more than 180 articles.

Published on 12/01/2005

Public Health: Medical Attention on the Now

he world is one. The death of distance on our dynamically changing planet impacts the intricate interplay between people, between people and animals, and between all living creatures and the environment we inhabit. The news headlines have multiplied in recent years: West Nile virus is found in dead birds in New York City, and human deaths soon follow. Cows in Great Britain are given tainted feed and some of the people who ultimately consume them develop a fatal disease. Large numbers of people routinely travel from one side of the world to the other, from tropical areas to snow-bound cultures, and they arrive in hours, often carrying illnesses never seen before in the new locales. Millions of people and animals are displaced by civil war, economic imperatives, and natural disasters, and issues of nutrition, vaccination, and acute treatment arise.

The rapidity of change, the speed of our world, dictates a need for a new breed of medical professionals; they must be trained in health care beyond the personal level. Their work lies in the greater sphere, where decisions and research impact the future history of mankind. And one University university is already preparing medical students, not for the future, but for the now, with a singular focus on the study of public health…St. George’s University.

Why St. George’s University?

Few centers of education can match the unique preparation offered to medical and veterinary medical students at St. George’s University in Grenada. Founded as an independent medical school almost 30 thirty years ago, St. George’s grew to add dynamic new programs in veterinary medicine, public health, research, and arts and sciences. Students and faculty travel to Grenada from across the world, shaping their academic environment with a unique perspective created by true internationalism. Its Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine are closely allied, and participate in joint scientific projects with the nearby Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) and other such institutions across the world, positioning St. George’s at an enviable crossroads in the study of public health. The University’s medical and veterinary students work on cross-disciplinary teams, tackling complicated scenarios with a distinctly broad scientific approach.

St. George’s MPH Program

The mission of St. George’s public health program is to improve the health, quality of life, and well-being of populations, communities, and persons through education, research, and services in public health and preventive medicine. The University provides training in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health policy/management, and behavioral/social sciences, with electives such as maternal and child health, chronic disease, emerging infectious diseases, and occupational health.

The University’s students have completed public health practica across the Caribbean (Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tortolla, British Virgin Islands, Trinidad), across the United States (Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Washington, DC), and in countries that include Canada, Botswana, Cambodia, India, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, Switzerland, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.

From the US to Grenada, to Africa and Back

Brian Butler, DVM, a recent St. George’s veterinary graduate, traveled to Africa for his Master of Public Health practicum in 2003, to study disorders that cross between animals and humans, known scientifically as zoonotic diseases.

Under the auspices of WINDREF, Dr. Butler conducted a ten-week week project on Cystic echinococcosis in the Bsongoro people of Western Uganda. The disease is transmitted from dogs and perhaps wild carnivores to humans and domestic livestock., but its prevalence had never before been investigated in the Bsongoro people until Dr. Butler began his work, following a local wildlife veterinarian who tagged and tracked lions and hyenas. As a result, Dr. Butler secured funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to underwrite his continuing study for his PhD at the Department of Comparative Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Butler credits the unique international educational experiences at St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine as the unusually rich academic setting that helped shape him for this goal. “I owe much to the rich and diverse environment at St. George’s, where I was surrounded by ideas and knowledge from many different cultures and countries.”

Making a Difference…As a Student

Students in the public health program at St. George’s impact their surroundings even before they attain their degrees. Some were instrumental in helping local Grenadian communities cope with the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Ivan. Though they had begun an epidemiological study in an outlying village in Grenada, after Hurricane Ivan swept through, the students shifted their immediate focus to provide care during the crisis. They fanned out to deliver critical medical supplies, assess emergency needs, and monitor developing health-related situations.

The University’s Dean of Enrolment Planning, Margaret Lambert, says that St. George’s alliance with WINDREF frequently benefits its Caribbean neighbors: “One country-wide effort reduced the incidence of dengue in Grenada by teaching the population the importance of eliminating the standing water that dengue-carrying mosquitoes breed in. We have worked very successfully with Grenada’s ministers of health, and with ministers from the surrounding region, to tackle other problematic issues, for example lymphatic filiariasis in Guyana.”

What Does a Public Health Background Offer for a Career?

Now, as the world has turned yet again, many new positions are opening in the public health field to fight the old battles and to prepare to fight new ones. Some future public health practitioners, such as a Jonas Salk or Madame Curie, may develop treatments to eradicate emerging health scourges such as HIV/AIDS. Others could migrate to career paths in government, or intergovernmental agencies like WHO or UN-FAO, working to improve the health of the overall populace by documenting ways to manage or avoid medical disorders brought on by unhealthy lifestyle choices. Still others might coordinate initiatives documenting the close ties of all creatures to the environment they live in, how pollution of water can cause terrible dysentery in those forced to drink it, how mosquitoes that breed on standing stagnant water can carry the miserable dengue virus to the people they bite, how we can work to respect the Earth and in the end benefit ourselves. Those with a drive to the veterinary medical concentration might monitor not only the animal population at large, but also the food supply chain, on the alert for disease that could transfer to human beings. And still others might man the frontline defense against agroterrorism and bioterrorism.

According to Dean Lambert, “The University’s approach to the teaching of medicine and programs that allow our medical and veterinary medical students to collaborate collegially on important scientific study make St. George’s unique the world of education. Our world is interdependent. People and animals are intricately linked, for food and for companionship. St. George’s broad training and public health offerings translate into wonderful possibilities for our students”

For more information on St. George’s University, its programs in public health, medicine, veterinary medicine, and research, please visit: www.sgu.edu

Published on 11/30/2005

St. George’s University Grad First to Use RFID Microchip Technology in Humans

Dr. Joseph Feldman, a graduate of the St. George’s University School of Medicine (’89), was involved with the initial use of Radio Frequency Implantable Devices (RFID) in human patients in hospitals. He is recognized nationally for innovative work in medicine as Chairman of the Department of Emergency Trauma at Hackensack University Medical Center and CNN has taken notice. Segments featuring Dr. Feldman will be aired Monday, October 17 on “What’s Next” – 5-6 am, 11-12 pm, 1-2 pm, & 5-6 pm and “Headline News” – 10-11 pm & 1-2 am.

Dr Joseph Feldman PortraitRFIDs in the form of small microchips under the skin were first implanted into animals years ago to allow owners to track lost pets, limiting unnecessary euthanasia. Dr. Feldman took this idea one step further, implanting the tiny identifiers in human beings to enable hospitals better infant and patient protection. RFIDs are also used to prevent wandering of disoriented patients and control access to various areas within the facility.

Dr. Feldman commented, “There are great benefits to getting involved with RFID microchip technology – it has provided an efficient way to get all vital medical information about someone by simply scanning their arm. There are so many patients who come into the Emergency Department (ED) daily and are unable to speak or communicate with the staff. It is much easier to get a medical history and vital information about the patient now that RFID microchip technology has been initiated.”

About the size of a grain of rice, the RFID microchip technology encodes a 16-digit identification number that ties via the internet to patient records. Hackensack University Medical Center was the first hospital to use this technology, and, after FDA approval, over 60 additional hospitals have signed on to adopt practice. The manufacturer of the RFIDs, VeriChip, states the technology was born out of “the events of September 11, 2001 when New York firemen were writing their badge ID numbers on their chests in case they were found injured or unconscious,” evidence of a desperate need for personal information in emergency situations that an injectable RFID microchip could supply.

In addition to his responsibilities at Hackensack University Medical Center, Dr. Feldman holds academic appointments at Seton Hall University, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School and Long Island University, as well as a part-time position as Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine in Kingstown Medical College, St. Vincent.

Published on 10/14/2005

St. George’s University Student Receives Award from the American Society for Clinical Pathology

Colby Halsey, an SGU clinical student, received the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Academic Excellence Award. Only Amita Dharawat, another SGU graduate, joins Colby Halsey on the list of students from a non-US or Canadian school to have received this honor. The ASCP Award for Academic Achievement and Promise is an annual award given to only 30-50 second year medical students. Winners must fit the ASCP’s standards for their achievements as a student so far and their promise for the future. When nominating Halsey for the award, Dr. Shivayogi Bhusnurmath, pathology course director, described him as “diligent, devoted to his studies, and passionate about medicine.”

Colby Halsey was the perfect choice for this distinguished award for academic excellence. He has continuously scored high on examinations and quizzes, good Clinico-Pathological Conferences submissions, and constantly high quality concept maps. He also possessed an overall positive attitude; he had good interaction with faculty and staff, and he took time to help his classmates. Along with Halsey’s excellent leadership skills and performance in pathology, he has achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average to date.

Halsey has received many other awards reflecting his achievements in academics and leadership. The Kenton Richards Award, which Halsey received in Spring 2004, recognizes Kenton Richards, the best performing student in pathology coursework at SGU, who died of leukemia in 2002. Halsey received this award for many of the same reasons that he won the Academic Excellence Award, his excellent performance throughout his pathology coursework, and his overall positive attitude. He has also earned the Future Physician “Golden Stethoscope” Award, and was a member of Iota Epsilon Alpha International Medical Honor Society. Halsey participated in the Department of Educational Services programs to assist other students who were having difficulty with their course study – Halsey acted as an effective peer tutor and an Anatomy Teaching Assistant.

On a personal level, Dr. Bhusnurmath describes Halsey as “intelligent, organized, gets along with everyone, empathetic, always in high spirits and passionate about medicine,” which he believes are all important qualities of an aspiring physician. Halsey recently started his clinical rotations in the United States.

Colby Halsey marks the second student from St. George’s University to receive the Academic Excellence Award by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Published on 06/21/2005

St. George’s University Grad Wins Emergency Medicine Award

J. Matthew Sasser, SGU 2005, received the 2005 Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award, a prestigious honor awarded by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. SGU is the only non US or Canadian medical school whose graduates have received this award. Dr. Sasser remarks, “My love for EM (Emergency Medicine) has been fueled over the past few years while serving on the executive board of our school’s Emergency Medicine Club,” and his involvement did not go unnoticed.

Soon after students had completed their CPR certification classes in Grenada, Dr. Sasser staged an act on campus to show incoming first-year students that “knowing how to help others means more than just carrying certification cards in their wallets.” Dr. Sasser “collapsed” outside of the SGU lecture halls on the True Blue campus during a break from classes, hoping to see students apply the practices just learned to “save” him. After four minutes, one individual from the gathering students approached and began an assessment. Shortly thereafter, a planned ambulance arrived for J. Matthew Sasser. The demonstration was helped to promote a lecture on “Improvisational Emergency Medicine.” (Dr. Sasser apologized later to University officials since he did not notify them and there was some immediate consternation about his “collapse” on campus).

This kind of innovative thinking and dedication to the real learning process has led to Dr. Sasser’s success. He will start his residency in June at the Penn State University College of Medicine Emergency Medicine Program at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He concludes, “Conversing with my colleagues plants the seeds of superior treatment for exponentially more patients than solely our own. If given the opportunity, I will bring my commitment to learning and my dedication to teaching in your program.”

The Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award brings with it a one year membership in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, a subscription to the Journal of Academic Emergency Medicine and a certificate from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). In order to be applicable for such an award, the student must be commencing an emergency medicine residency and must submit a personal statement for review.

There were several excellent nominees for this award from the SGU School of Medicine, but Dr. Sasser best exemplified the qualities of an excellent emergency medicine physician – superior clinical, interpersonal, and manual skills, and a dedication to continued professional development leading to outstanding performance on his emergency medicine rotations.

Prior award recipients from SGU include: 2004 – Kevin A. O’Toole; 2003 – Lisa Keough; 2002 – Herald Ostovar; 2001 – Marc Milano.

Published on 05/25/2005

St. George’s University Grad Honored for Spinal Cord Research

J. Matthew Sasser, SGU 2005, received the 2005 Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award, a prestigious honor awarded by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. SGU is the only non US or Canadian medical school whose graduates have received this award. Dr. Sasser remarks, “My love for EM (Emergency Medicine) has been fueled over the past few years while serving on the executive board of our school’s Emergency Medicine Club,” and his involvement did not go unnoticed.

Soon after students had completed their CPR certification classes in Grenada, Dr. Sasser staged an act on campus to show incoming first-year students that “knowing how to help others means more than just carrying certification cards in their wallets.” Dr. Sasser “collapsed” outside of the SGU lecture halls on the True Blue campus during a break from classes, hoping to see students apply the practices just learned to “save” him. After four minutes, one individual from the gathering students approached and began an assessment. Shortly thereafter, a planned ambulance arrived for J. Matthew Sasser. The demonstration was helped to promote a lecture on “Improvisational Emergency Medicine.” (Dr. Sasser apologized later to University officials since he did not notify them and there was some immediate consternation about his “collapse” on campus).

This kind of innovative thinking and dedication to the real learning process has led to Dr. Sasser’s success. He will start his residency in June at the Penn State University College of Medicine Emergency Medicine Program at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He concludes, “Conversing with my colleagues plants the seeds of superior treatment for exponentially more patients than solely our own. If given the opportunity, I will bring my commitment to learning and my dedication to teaching in your program.”

The Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award brings with it a one year membership in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, a subscription to the Journal of Academic Emergency Medicine and a certificate from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). In order to be applicable for such an award, the student must be commencing an emergency medicine residency and must submit a personal statement for review.

There were several excellent nominees for this award from the SGU School of Medicine, but Dr. Sasser best exemplified the qualities of an excellent emergency medicine physician – superior clinical, interpersonal, and manual skills, and a dedication to continued professional development leading to outstanding performance on his emergency medicine rotations.

Prior award recipients from SGU include: 2004 – Kevin A. O’Toole; 2003 – Lisa Keough; 2002 – Herald Ostovar; 2001 – Marc Milano.

Published on 05/25/2005

Princeton Review: Rewriting the Rules

He’s written the textbooks; he’s lectured across the world and is a recognized leader in the complex field of rheumatology. But Dr. John J. Cush, repeatedly named nationally as one of the “best doctors” in his specialty, says his 25-year career thrived because he rewrote the rules every step of the way, beginning with his choice of medical school.

Dr. Cush was initially attracted to medicine at age 15 when several close family members fell ill. His first hand observations led him to determine that he could contribute to the field of medicine by combining his natural bend to science with his own well-honed communication skills. That’s when he broke the first “rule” and decided to attend medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, as a member of the second class.

Dr. Cush attributes much of his subsequent career focus to the St. George’s University philosophy now embodied in its anthem: “Think Beyond.” “St. George’s was all about potential and possibility and not about subscribing to a predetermined expectation.”

Racheting It Up

During his years at the University, Dr. Cush originally zeroed in on primary care as his future. He believed his strongest contributions to medicine could come in the area of patient communication. “I saw what I didn’t like – people who were the medical professionals were always intelligent, but not always able to communicate. And I decided it’s not always about writing an order for a bedpan – it’s about talking to the wife, maybe the cousin, maybe the next door neighbor as well to make sure that people are OK with the plan proposed for them,” Dr. Cush explains. “And that’s what I thought my niche would be – communicating to patients, developing my skills, helping the greatest number of people I could.”

But, somewhere during his second year of residency, Dr. Cush’s attention was caught by the intricate specialty of rheumatology, his curiosity triggered by a mysterious patient case.

“I was working with a 23-year-old woman from New York who was admitted with complex medical problems that none of my medical colleagues could seem to decipher. She had fevers; we thought maybe it was a serious infection. But ultimately, it was the rheumatologists who knew what to do and she was diagnosed with a form of juvenile arthritis ­ Still’s Disease.”

Dr. Cush explains that during the residency training years, young physicians come into contact with many specialists and “they impact you. But these guys [the rheumatologists] were like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – and I thought, ‘Who WERE those guys and why do they know something the rest of us don’t?’”

He was aware of the common perception that rheumatology meant treating “little old ladies.” Yet, Dr. Cush’s St. George’s education had taught him “to reject ‘truths’ and make my own truths.” So he dove in head first, training in the field, mounting research, and attaining leadership positions in The National Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology.

Rewriting the Field

Now, as Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology and Medical Director of the Arthritis Center of Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, he continually researches new therapies, treats new patients, noting wryly that of the ten patients he saw on one recent day, “three were in their twenties, one was a nine-year-old, one was 50, and two were in their 60s.” Definitely not a disease confined to little old ladies.

To battle arthritis in all its forms, Dr. Cush has spent his career at the forefront of research into enabling patients to lead happy lives in the face of chronic illness. He has investigated new biologic medicines that carry fewer negative effects in treatment than the earlier steroid therapies. And, he remains devoted to communication, though far beyond the levels he first imagined.

Beyond his one-on-one involvement in helping his patients cope with long-term chronic illness, and his teaching duties as Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at the Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dr. Cush has published over 100 works in the field, including co-authoring the leading textbook. He serves on the editorial board of Bone and Joint and as well as on the Arthritis Advisory Committee for the Food and Drug Administration.

Despite his great involvement in rheumatology, and his non-stop responsibilities to patients, students, and the broader medical community, Dr. Cush has not forgotten the institution that encouraged him – he is a member of St. George’s University’s Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Academic Board.

John Cush, MD, says “St. George’s encouraged me by putting pressure on me to meet a new expectation for myself. I learned to carve my own path to success.” Not breaking the rules – rewriting them for a leading role in clinical and academic medicine.

Published on 05/19/2005

First Cornea Transplants Performed in Grenada

Grenadians will receive corneal transplants through an initiative made possible by the Minister of Health, Mrs. Ann David-Antoine, and two graduates of SGUSOM, Robert Fucigna, MD, and Orazio Giliberti, MD. These cornea transplants are the latest developments in a well established history of service to the Grenadian people by the SGU’s School of Medicine. Cornea transplants are costly, sophisticated eye operations that average more than $50,000 (USD) per operation.

Dr. Giliberti is the first graduate of St. George’s School of Medicine to specialize in Ophthalmology. After completing his studies, Dr. Giliberti continued to maintain strong ties with the University, first as a Visiting Professor in the Clinical Skills Department, and since 1997, an Associate Dean of Clinical Studies. Screenings for cornea transplants began as early as 1983, beginning with members of the SGU community including staff and students. This program was formally instituted in 1995; however, until this new initiative, patients were required to travel to the United States where the operations were performed.

Today, Dr. Giliberti is the Associate Dean of Clinical Studies, US, and the Director of Ophthalmology at St. George’s University, a department which boasts of no less than thirty skilled ophthalmologists. He, as well, serves as the Director of Opthalmology at Seton Hall University. Two years ago, Dr. Giliberti embarked on a project to bring quality medical eye care to the people of Grenada. He teamed up with Grenadian eye specialist, Dr. Elliot McGuire, and together they conducted a total of fifty screenings, identifying candidates who would need this very specialized care. From these screenings, three candidates were chosen for the cornea transplants, have undergone this surgery, and are now at the Eye Ward. There remain about twenty persons in Grenada still in need of corneal surgery.

The deterioration of a person’s cornea can lead to the total loss of sight and can occur either as a genetic defect or as a result of infection. In the latter, the infection first needs to be treated. Then the damaged cornea tissue is replaced by a new graft. “It’s like a car that has a damaged windshield; the windshield is taken out and replaced with a new one, thus restoring better sight to the eye,” Dr. Fucigna explained.

As the project becomes established, Dr. Giliberti anticipates that local doctors will be trained to perform the procedure and that medicines and equipment will be provided so that such operations can become a standard part of health care in Grenada. Mr. Stephen Thomas, Director of the Hospital stated, “We should continue to harness the resources of SGU, making use of the services of the doctors, seminars, conferences and work together with them to provide better health care for the people of Grenada.”

Published on 04/21/2005

Record Enrollment for St. George’s University

Enrollment at St. George’s University is at an all time high. The campus is bustling with students from all over the world studying medicine, veterinary medicine, business, information technology, and in many other undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The entering student population has increased by 6% from last year alone (the 2003-04 academic year). In fact, the total enrollment of the University – slightly over 3,000 students, has increased almost 50% since 1999! The enrollment of new students increased by 55% since the 2001-02 academic year. We have enrolled almost 1,060 students this academic year.

This year, more students have entered the MD program through the premedical program (recently moved into the School of Medicine) than in any year since its inception; there were 22 new students in the program in August, and 40 entered this February – for a total of 62 new students in this academic year. The premedical program allows students from around the world in various educational systems to enter the Doctor of Medicine program.

The Masters of Public Health Program enrolled over 100 students this academic year, maintaining its image as one of the healthiest programs on campus. Over 100 new undergraduate students have entered this year, reaching a four-year high. If we add those students who have entered the baccalaureate degree program through our affiliate, T. A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC), we have enrolled more than 200 new students this academic year.

The secondary school component of Camp Medicine, 2005 is already oversubscribed, with many more students and student-teacher groups waiting to sign on board.

“The best kept secret in the Caribbean is no longer a secret,” said Margaret Lambert, Dean of Enrolment Planning. “It is gratifying to see so many students from so many places all studying and living together on this beautiful island, which is recovering so well and so quickly from the violence of Hurricane Ivan.”

Published on 03/07/2005